Chairman’s message 16 September

Chairman’s message 16 September

Dear friends

I am finding this week to be very strange as we come up to Rosh Hashanah. Normally I would be spending my time shopping for last minute fruit and vegetables for three large meals, cooking chicken soup (of course!), sorting out beds and toys for our Gibraltar family to stay and generally preparing to catch up with family and friends. I would also be checking our Synagogue service arrangements, looking at my Synagogue door rota and generally looking forward to catching up with everyone at Synagogue and hearing their news.

Whatever your usual plans are for Rosh Hashanah, I am guessing that for many, you are feeling the same as me. On the plus side (and I am always a “glass half full person”) I am definitely less stressed, I don’t have to fit in a visit to the hairdresser (I have a constant worry that someone will see my roots if they are sitting behind me, is that too vain?) or have my nails done (you can’t hand our prayer books with chipped nails!) or work out what to wear over three days. On the minus side, I just miss everyone. I miss the joy of seeing friends and acquaintances, meeting babies for the first time, squashing into the back of the youth service, popping into Kikar Kids and chatting in the tent after the service.

In case you think that this is a sad email at a time of celebration, I am immensely looking forward to watching the services on BelsizeLIVE and attending one service in person. It will be different but it will be what we each make of it. I intend to follow the services, listen to the Sermons and enjoy it. I shall think of everyone else who is also listening and for me that sense of belonging to a strong and vibrant community will fill my house and carry over all the three days. I hope it does for you too.

Our festival services started with Selichot and Rabbi Altshuler held a very successful Shiur for 20 people. More than 80 people watched Cantor Heller and the choir in the Selichot service. This is more than in a usual year and it was, I hope you will agree, a very uplifting service.

You might be interested to know that last week we held a Board meeting on Zoom and we approved our adult safeguarding policy and received training on this subject. We appointed Deborah Nerva-Cohen as the Synagogue’s designated safeguarding lead. We also reviewed the arrangements for all High Holyday services.

I wanted to let you know that Limmud have launched a digital publication, featuring submissions from across the community. It contains stories, pictures, recipes and poetry and is very interesting. It is free and can be found at where you need to type in “Renewal by Limmud Festival”.

I have been sent the recent AJR newsletter and I am really pleased that they are letting their members know that they can access services through BelsizeLIVE. To the individual who has just joined our Congregation as they watch and enjoy our streamed services and wanted to support us, welcome and thank you so much. It literally makes me smile all the time to think of your support.

That is all from me, I wish you all a sweet year ahead, shana tova umetuka.

Stay safe and stay well


Gardening Tips

Just to remind you that whilst he is not an expert, John is happy to try to answer any gardening questions that you may have. Please email questions to Adam Rynhold at and he will pass them on.

  • It’s an exciting month as spring bulbs I’ve ordered are being delivered. It’s a bit early for planting but it will be something nice to do during Succot! In the meantime it’s a good time to clear away debris that may have built up.
  • Deadhead Dahlias as flowers begin to fade, cutting back stems to the first leaves. Keep them staked so they don’t fall over in the wind or break under the weight of the big blooms.
  • Keep watering, especially in this lovely warm, dry weather. It’s interesting that we usually celebrate Rosh Hashanah in good weather. Let’s hope it is the start of a good and above all a healthy year for us all and enjoy this last bit of the summer!